Xavi Hernandez says time not right for Barcelona return

Former Barcelona captain and current Al Sadd boss Xavi Hernandez believes it is not the right time for him to return to the Camp Nou.

Xavi has been heavily linked with a return to the club in recent months amid speculation over the future of current boss Quique Setien.

Indeed, former midfielder maestro Xavi rejected Barcelona over the managerial position in January after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde.

Setien was subsequently appointed but after missing out on domestic success this season, his future into the next campaign now appears to be in doubt.

However, despite the former midfielder ruling himself out of returning this summer he left the door open to a future return to the club.

“There is external noise and separate issues, but I don’t think that now is a good time to return,” Xavi told an interview with El Pais.

“In January I told them that it was not the time, and now they have not contacted me since.

“As a Culé (Barcelona fan) I wish them all the best. I have a lot of respect for Quique Setién, he has a style of playing that is very similar to what Barça needs, which is Cruyffismo and another thing is that the results go along with that.

“I am delighted to continue gaining experience, challenging myself, and of course it would be a privilege for me to coach Barça one day.

“I’d like to have a group of people who are well known at the club, people I trust and have the same values.”

Xavi made 767 first-team appearances for the Catalan giants between 1998 and 2015, alongside winning 133 caps for the Spanish national team.

He won eight La Liga titles alongside three Copa del Rey crowns and four Champions League trophies in his total of 25 titles with the club.

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